CANADIAN ETHNIC MEDIA ASSOCIATION

Voices of Canada

Get ready for Ontario’s Fair Vote referendum

January 26, 2015

A release from Fair Vote Canada:

FVC members, volunteers and all electoral reform supporters in the Greater Toronto Area are invited to the Fair Vote Ontario campaign kick-off event Nov. 15, 2006, at the Rogers Communications Centre, Ryerson University, 80 Gould Street, Toronto. Click here to see the flyer (PDF format) for details.

Featured speakers include: Rick Anderson, Director, Fireweed Democracy Project, former advisor to Preston Manning, and Fair Vote Canada Vice President; Hon. Carolyn Bennett, M.P., St. Paul’s, and recent Liberal Party leadership candidate; Judy Rebick, CAW Gindin Chair in Social Justice, Ryerson University, and Fair Vote Canada National Advisory Board; and Joe Murray, Chair, Fair Vote Ontario.

Almost every ethnic and religious group is under-represented in the Ontario Legislature. In October 2007, we citizens ofOntario will have the opportunity to change the voting system in a referendum…and the good news is that some of the available options used by democracies around the world do tend be more inclusive of diversity. Find out more. Fair Vote Ontario is holding a kick off of its “100 Days of Democracy” campaign on Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. For more details about speakers and location, go to http://www.fairvote.ca/.

Introduction to Fair Vote Canada (reproduced from FVC’s website)

On August 1, 2000, a group of concerned citizens formed Fair Vote Canada (FVC) with the aim of building a nationwide campaign for voting system reform. We envisioned FVC as a multi-partisan, citizen-based campaign bringing together people from all parts of the country, all walks of life and all points on the political spectrum.

On March 30-31, 2001, Fair Vote Canada held its first national conference in the Parliament Buildings. Participants included a wide range of electoral reform experts, party activists, community leaders and others who shared the vision of launching a multi-partisan, citizen-based campaign. Speakers included leading academic experts, MPs from most major parties, Jean-Pierre Kingsley, the Chief Electoral Officer, and others. Participants engaged in discussions on campaign strategy and the structure and purpose of FVC.

FVC Purpose

The following Statement of Purpose (PDF version here) was adopted by the FVC National Council on January 14, 2005, and ratified by members on June 11, 2005:

The purpose of Fair Vote Canada is to gain broad, multi-partisan support for an independent, citizen-driven process to allow Canadians to choose a fair voting system based on the principles that all voters are equal, and that every vote must count.

Fair Vote Canada believes that, in order to provide a fair and equal voice for every citizen, and to accurately reflect the will of the voters, our voting system must be designed to achieve the following objectives:

Proportional representation: The supporters of all political parties should be fairly represented in proportion to the votes they cast. Parties should have no more and no fewer seats than their popular support warrants. There should be no phony majority governments.

Fair representation for women, and for minorities and Aboriginals: Our legislatures should reflect the diversity of our society. To enable this, voting systems must be designed to remove barriers to the nomination and election of those who are under-represented.

Accountable government: Our voting system should give us governance which is stable but responsive, flexible but principled, which reflects the will of the majority, but which respects the rights of all.

Geographic representation: Rural and urban voters must be fairly represented. Provinces and regions must have effective and accountable representation in parliaments and governments, reflecting real geographic communities.

Real voter choice: Our voting system must promote real competition among candidates and political parties. No voter should be disenfranchised for living in a safe riding. No voter should feel compelled to vote strategically for the lesser of evils because the preferred candidate or party has no chance of winning the riding.

www.fairvote.ca